Taking her impetus from Robinson Crusoe and the film Castaway, Kelly crafts the story of a shipwreck survivor readjusting to civilization. Though the pacing is slow, Kelly presents a clear portrait of the mores and prejudices of the era and demonstrates how to navigate through society's labyrinth with intelligent, sharp repartee. This alone
is worth the price of the book.
Having disgraced her family by eloping with her father's clerk, then coming home a widow with a child, Susannah is unprepared for her strong reaction to James. His wit and his cleverness rival her own, and his attitude about the ton is close to hers as well. They make quite a pair, and it's obvious that they're meant for each other, but it takes more than heated kisses and rapid-fire conversation to force them to see that they're falling in love. (Harlequin, Mar., 300 pp., $5.50)